The Chicago Blackhawks beat Nashville 5-3 on Saturday for their seventh straight win and franchise-record eighth consecutive victory on the road
The Chicago Blackhawks won their seventh straight game Saturday night, beating the Nashville Predators 5-3 to set a franchise record of eight consecutive victories on the road.
Defenseman Brian Campbell broke a 3-3 tie with 1:05 remaining in regulation, and Patrick Kane added an empty-netter to seal the win. Chicago pushed its season record to 42-18-5 and jumped over Minnesota to the top of the Central Division with 89 points.
The Blackhawks reeled off four straight wins to finish 4-1 in the regular-season series against Nashville and stretch their record against Central Division foes to 16-8-1. The ‘Hawks return home to Chicago at the top of the Western Conference with four days rest before starting a brutal run of seven games in 11 days.
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Here are five thoughts on the ‘Hawks’ thrilling, hard-hitting victory over the Preds.
With the win at Nashville, the Blackhawks have now won eight straight on the road, tying the Columbus Blue Jackets for the season’s longest road win streak and extending their road record to 20-10-1.
Only the New York Rangers (22) have more wins on the road. During the current streak, Chicago is averaging 4.8 goals per game, outscoring its opponents by a 38-19 margin.
Down the stretch, the ‘Hawks will play 10 of their final 17 games on the road, a huge factor in determining potential matchups and home-ice advantage in the playoffs.
Finding a way
The Blackhawks have been victimized by sluggish starts this year, and things appeared to be headed that way in Nashville as the Preds jumped all over the ‘Hawks early, outshooting Chicago 11-1 in the first 10 minutes.
But just like their recent 5-3 win over the Wild, the Blackhawks withstood the initial onslaught in enemy territory, then turned momentum their way, this time by drawing a penalty which Kane converted to a powerplay goal, giving the ‘Hawks a 1-0 lead and silencing a raucous Smashville crowd.
Things were looking good early in the second period when the Blackhawks took a 2-0 lead on Jordin Tootoo’s first goal of the season, but Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson quickly cut the lead in half when he split the defense and beat Corey Crawford from the slot.
The ‘Hawks and Preds then traded goals by Jonathan Toews and Calle Jarnkrok to end the period before Arvidsson tied the game 3-3 early in the third with his second goal of the night, and the Preds seemed to have all the momentum.
Just when the game appeared headed to overtime, Campbell made his way to the slot undetected to pot the game-winner off a nifty feed from Toews.
It was much the same in Chicago’s 2-1 shootout win over the Islanders the night before, when Artemi Panarin launched his patented one-timer to tie the game 1-1 with just 1:14 remaining in regulation before scoring the shootout winner.
Chicago has won big games recently against formidable opponents, including Pittsburgh, Minnesota and St. Louis. It seems the Blackhawks have found the kind of swagger and confidence that brings them to every game knowing they will find a way to win.